The origins of Spontaneous Celebrations date from the first Wake Up the Earth Festival in 1979. This festival was, in part, a celebration of the defeat of the proposed I-95 extension through many Boston neighborhoods.
Further collaboration by artists, activists, and residents who had worked on this issue in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury contributed to the creation of new community gardens and parks on some of the land left vacant by the destruction of houses for the planned but unbuilt highway. The festival has taken place every year since, on the first Saturday in May. Over the years, our program has grown to include other annual festivals as well as other activities and events.
In October we sponsor the Jamaica Pond Lantern Parade, a beautiful encircling of the Pond by people of all ages carrying handmade, candle-lit lanterns. At a time when the season is darkening, the community turns out to spread light and express hope.We work with the First Night event to spearhead the opening parade with community youth who are trained in dancing and drumming in advance of the event.
About 15 years ago, we acquired a wonderful building which serves as a community arts center. It's at 45 Danforth Street in Jamaica Plain. We host many public and private events and classes. We also host and sponsor a range of programs for community youth, including The Beantown Society and La Pinata.